A group of German construction workers start a tough job at a remote site in the Bulgarian countryside. The foreign land awakens the men’s sense of adventure, but they are also confronted with their own prejudice and mistrust due to the language barrier and cultural differences.
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Digital. Her 2 previous feature films are of a disturbing dramatic concentration that magnifies representation with an utterance of the signs of anguish. This one, so allegorically installed in the accumulation of its proposings' signifiers, is reduced, by so much signs- the horse, the border...- mostly to another exhibition of how pleasant it's to observe non-actors, specially Meinhard Neumann. Beatiful end, though.
WESTERN struck me as strange, putting me in an unaccustomed position as viewer. It is clearly something blocked-out, but there is a remarkable organicism and quality of immanence; it drew me in but almost completely failed to register as an artistic or certainly as an "aesthetic" experience. It becomes very much about "being w/" the characters on screen. That the film is so strong is a testament to its non-actors.
(Cannes 2017) Wonderful use of classic Western tropes - campfires, horses, guitars, sweeping vistas, cicadas, betrayal, brotherhood, machismo etc. - to tell the story of German itinerant construction workers in rural Bulgaria. Very strong characters, performances and story, with a perfect ending.
Fantasticly slow build up of tension that might get you a bit dissapointed with its, a bit, anticlimax ending. A true western of it's kind with the (anti)hero not riding Shane-like mysteriously into the sunset leaving everything and everyone behind but actually looking for his place in the world, for a home, for a place he will belong to.
The hype around this fakely compassionate social-realist bullshit is mind-blowing. This is a silly exercise of self-indulgence that just plays the same tune that 90% of the festival-goers want to hear. It has shallow ambiguity; a ridiculous sense of "depth"; lazy, linear, reactionary mise-en-scène; and a bunch of generic observations about life in the countryside & the beauty of human misery.
An incredibly beautiful film that displaces the spectacularization of the Western and loops its tropes back in to the ordinary motions of ordinary lives. Masculinity is alternately portrayed as violence from the frustrated difficulty of communication; and as the discovery of communication's possibility--even depth--despite the lack of language. So you glory in gesture as they do.